LA-based session/solo artist building his ‘dream’ in backyard
WHEN JOSH Smith bought his house near Reseda north of Los Angeles two years ago there was a plan in place that would see through the fulfillment of a life-long dream. The 1,100 square foot home had a detached garage in back that is currently just three weeks work away from becoming a 1,000 square foot recording studio. Smith has scratched and saved extra cash from gigs and session work to make his dream a reality. He says he is about $35,000 into the project with another $25,000 to go for flooring, insulation, room-in-room drywall and some other acoustic touches. If all goes to plan, Flat Five Studio (his proposed name for the new hang) will be up and running sometime after the new year.
“Nothing makes me happier than improvising,” said Smith. “I’m an improvisor, so being in the studio, I would be there everyday if I could. That’s where I want to be… making something out of thin air… everyday. I’ll be able to walk out there and fire up some new amp or pedal at midnight and not bother a sole. That’s a small part of it. As far as the things I want to accomplish with it, what I have set out to do with the build… it evolved from the get-go.”
When he bought the house, the garage had already been added onto illegally. One decision made early on, with help from friend and veteran sound engineer Rick Ruggieri, was to tear down the addition, gut the garage and start from scratch in order to get the right room both in size and scope. The control room is larger and there is room for an isolation area for vocals. Part of Smith’s inspiration to ‘go for it’ on the build is owed to a visit to guitarist Tim Pierce’s home studio.